Cleveland Indians Must Not Rush Justin Masterson Back to Mound
The worst injury for any starting pitcher or any pitcher at all for that matter is definitely the elbow injury that warrants Tommy John Surgery. Nothing even comes close to that but an oblique injury is bad no matter what player it happens to. Justin Masterson tweaked his oblique earlier in September and has missed some time when the Cleveland Indians could use their ace the most. Because of this there is temptation to get him back on the mound as soon as possible but the Indians should be very careful not to send him back too fast.
It doesn’t take much to make a mistake with an oblique and lose another two or three weeks. That would definitely be the worst case scenario right now. Sure it is completely possible that without a couple of starts from Masterson, the Indians might not grab that wildcard spot they are fighting so hard for. At the same time though it is possible that he could come back just to be lost for the balance of the postseason if they rush it.
They are missing him for sure but they would miss him more if they made the postseason and he wasn’t available than they do now chasing it. The timing stinks but anyone wanting to be extra patient with him right now is on my list of smart people and those who really are looking after Masterson’s wellbeing. After all, no one wants him to limp into the winter time with a bad oblique that ruined the last part of his season. It would be far better for him to be well, maybe pitch once more on limited pitch count and be healthy for the postseason, or even just the offseason.